COVID-19 | HR & Employee Support
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Information & Resources
NYS Dept. of Labor Releases Guidance and FAQ for New Paid Sick Leave Law
October 22, 2020
The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) released guidance and FAQs regarding the new paid sick leave law for all private sector businesses in the state.Additional regulations are expected from DOL in the coming weeks and we will update you as we receive more information.
Guidance for Restaurants: Federal WARN Act and COVID-19 Issues
The Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law requiring employers to provide written notice to various state and local government officials, affected employees, and any union representatives at least 60 days before certain group separations occur. For more information on the federal law, please review the Guidance and FAQ documents provided by the Restaurant Law Center of National Restaurant Association.
COVID-19 At-Home Lab Tests Now Available
To help our members reopen successfully, the National Restaurant Association has partnered with LetsGetChecked to offer members exclusive, negotiated pricing on COVID-19 tests. LetsGetChecked offers the only FDA authorized 99.7% accurate solution that owns all aspects of the testing process: a comprehensive solution that integrates FDA authorized at-home sample collection, lab testing, result delivery, and patient support. After safely and easily collecting a sample, employees mail the sample to the lab and receive online results within 2-4 business days of reaching the lab.
Please contact Clinton Wolf with any questions. To place an order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidance for Restaurants Responding to COVID-19 Positive Employee
The Restaurant Law Center has created a document which addresses the question of what to do if an employee is sick as well as what to do for employees who were exposed but are asymptomatic. This document provides the relevant links from the CDC, EEOC, or OSHA for additional guidance. New York State asks that you contact your local health department to report an employee who has COVID 19. Guidance Document HERE.
COVID-19 Employee Self-Assessment Form. The attorneys at Jackson Lewis have provided a template for staff to use prior to working their shift.
Free COVID-19 Testing
NY State of Health
Don't go without health coverage. NY State of Health can help. If your job or life has changed, NY State of Health is here for you. If you recently lost your job, lost health coverage, or are currently uninsured, apply now for coverage through NY State of Health. You may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid, the Essential Plan, or Child Health Plus, or you may qualify for a Qualified Health Plan with tax credits. NY State of Health extended their Special Enrollment Period through August 15 to provide uninsured New Yorkers with health insurance.
There are three ways to apply:
- Enroll through the NY State of Health website: nystateofhealth.ny.gov
- Enroll by phone with an Enrollment Assistor
- Enroll by phone with Customer Service: 1-855-355-5777.
Free Training Video: ServSafe Reopening Guidance: COVID-19 Precautions
The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe team has prepared a free training video outlining the steps restaurant line level employees are encouraged to utilize in returning to full-service operations. ServSafe Reopening Guidance: COVID-19 Precautions aligns with the content provided in the COVID-19 Reopening Guidance document created by the National Restaurant Association, ServSafe, and subject matter experts. Video topics include:
- Knowing COVID-19 symptoms and preventing its spread.
- Recognizing actions to reduce risk to employees and guests.
- Guidelines for face coverings, hand washing, and food handling.
- Guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
- Physical and operational changes to maintain social distancing.
OSHA Issues New Safety Alert for Restaurants Operating During Pandemic
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new safety alert for restaurant and food and beverage businesses operating during the pandemic. The agency has made the tips available in a one-page poster employers can display in the workplace. Read new safety alert HERE. Download poster HERE.
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released updated federal guidance for employers as the country begins to reopen. Granted that testing is “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” as well as “accurate and reliable,” employers may choose to test workers for COVID-19 prior to entering the workspace. Previously released guidance also gave the go-ahead for alternative screenings—including measuring employee temperatures. Read the most updated guidance HERE.
NYS Childcare Scholarships for Essential Workers
New York State announced yesterday that it will provide childcare scholarships to essential workers. Childcare costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs child care, they can contact their local child care referral agency to find openings. To find out more about this initiative click HERE.
What can and can’t employers require of their employees when it comes to their health status on the job?
The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Law Center, working with legal experts from Jackson Lewis, P.C., answers many of the most commonly asked questions about temperature checks, HIPAA liability and doctor’s notes for returning to work after illness. Read FAQ HERE.
NYS Department of Health Issues Interim Guidance on New Requirements for Face Coverings
Read guidance HERE.
Cuomo Announces Executive Order Regarding Face Covering Mandate
Governor Andrew Cuomo released an executive order that mandates all employees working during the Covid-19 crisis that interact with the public wear face coverings. These coverings must be provided by the employer, but no details yet exist about any other specifications these coverings must have. This requirement will take effect this Wednesday night, April 15, at 8 p.m. and may be enforced by local governments, including law enforcement. No word yet on what type of punishments will exist for non-compliance. We will update you as more information becomes available. Read Executive Order HERE.
We'll update you as new information becomes available.
New York Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker Letter for Employees
Letter template HERE.
CDC Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers HERE.
CDC Dos and Don'ts Workplace Flyer HERE.
On Premises Workplace Infection Control Practices Impacting Employees
Guidance prepared by the Restaurant Law Center for Restaurant Employers.
Read FAQ HERE.
NYS Department of Labor | Shared Work Program
Consider the Shared Work program as you manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments. Shared Work lets you keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. Information and Overview HERE. FAQ HERE.
NYS Department of Labor | Unemployment Insurance Benefits FAQ - Updated 3/31/20
On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed a law that provides additional Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This new law provides:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors);
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients; and,
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act
The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. What you need to know, HERE.
ADVISORY: NYS Department of Labor Implements a Filing System and Extends Hours to Address Influx of Claims
Read Advisory HERE.
Review of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act
There is both a federal and NY State WARN law. If the Government moves to force restaurant closures, it’s important to know the rules surrounding what you have to do. Read more about the WARN Law HERE. NYS Department of Labor WARN Info HERE.
Jackson Lewis FAQ | HR and Employment Guidelines for Restaurant Operators
These FAQs have been prepared to provide guidance to restaurant operators as the industry responds to developments in connection with the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. Jackson Lewis attorneys are monitoring this developing situation, which will likely continue to evolve during the coming weeks. Restaurants should monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for updates and consult with legal counsel as circumstances develop and new issues arise.
Jackson Lewis FAQ
The New York State Restaurant Association has been giving restaurateurs the power to succeed since 1935. The Association provides a platform for statewide cooperation and leadership on advocacy issues, along with valuable support services to members.
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